Cape Town – The leader of the African Congress for Transformation (ACT), Ace Magashule, says he and several other leaders within the African National Congress (ANC) were cautioned not to support Cyril Ramaphosa’s candidacy for deputy president in 2012.
Despite his eventual expulsion from the ANC and conflicts with Ramaphosa, Magashule revealed that they had backed Ramaphosa for deputy president, though not without warnings.
The former ANC secretary-general was a guest on MacG’s Podcast and Chill on Thursday.
Magashule said Zweli Mkhize was suggested as an alternative, but the focus was on leadership qualities rather than geographical considerations.
He said that the South African Communist Party (SACP) and Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) initially opposed Ramaphosa as deputy in 2012 but supported him for the presidency in 2017.
Magashule acknowledged that they were unaware of certain aspects of Ramaphosa’s background when they supported him for deputy president.
Watch the full interview below:
“In 2017, there was NDZ and CR, and factionalism reared its ugly head. What South Africans don’t know is that we were the people who brought Cyril Ramaphosa to be the ANC’s deputy president and were warned.
“We called on Zweli Mkhize to come in, and he told us, ‘But you have Zuma, who is from KZN’, but we told him it was not about that. When we elect leaders, we go for people who we think have the necessary capacity and abilities. That’s why we made him [Zweli Mkhize] treasurer-general.”
He added: “In 2012, everyone else said no to Ramaphosa, but we said yes. In 2017, when everyone else was saying Cyril [Ramaphosa] for president, we said no because we wanted NDZ.”
“We didn’t know some of the things about him. We were prewarned and told certain things, and we just believed that he was the right man to lead.”
He refrained from speaking negatively about the ANC or its leaders, emphasising his positive relationships with previous ANC leaders, including Jacob Zuma.
“There are things I can’t talk about. We liked him because we had worked with him as a leader,” he said.
Despite ideological differences, he described his relationship with Zuma as “wonderful” and highlighted Zuma’s connection with ordinary people.
Follow African Insider on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
For more African news, visit Africaninsider.com
Compiled by Betha Madhomu